Frere Jacques provides an easy piece with a bit of a rhythmic flare. Hand positions change from phrase to phrase and it uses 6 of the 7 notes in the scale. It’s a good piano-note and fingering study. Learn it well, and for an extra challenge, try playing it “in a round”. (If you do this, move your right hand up one octave, so the hands do not run into each other… unless you start the left hand first.)
Instructions for learning a piece on the piano:
-play each line with right hand (fingerings written above note names) until it is easy and/or memorized.
-play each line with left hand (fingerings written below note names) until it is easy and/or memorized.
-play each line with both hands until it is easy and/or memorized.
-string the lines together until you can play the whole piece. Keep it slow until you are comfortable and familiar with it. Then, start playing it faster, working up to an appropriate tempo for that piece.
-Regardless of tempo, relax your arms & shoulders and keep it smooth and flowing.
[The tunes listed in the "free piano lessons" portion of this website provide a fun way for beginners to begin getting to know their way around the piano keyboard. By learning a bunch of simple tunes and learning to play them hands-separately and hands-together, as well as in at least 3 different keys, a new piano player not only learns the layout of the notes, but also begins to develop knowledge and confidence in piano fingerings. Along the way, you are working on the ability to learn and memorize melodies on the keys. Add a bit of work with a metronome and you begin developing a sense for steady rhythm, as well as the ability to work with an extremely valuable tool. Together, these elements will become part of a solid foundation of basic skills needed for more advanced piano playing in the future.]
A guide to building a solid and complete piano-playing foundation.
“Frere Jacques” in key of C (sing along to establish proper rhythm):
Key of F (sing along to establish proper rhythm):
[note: B-flat is the black note to the left (a half-step down) of B.]
Key of G (sing along to establish proper rhythm):
Are you sleeping, are you sleeping?
Brother John, Brother John?
Morning bells are ringing, morning bells are ringing
Ding, ding, dong, ding, ding, dong.
For more about this tune, click here.